The forecast called for diminishing winds around noon today. So around 9am we powered up the little motor and headed toward the anchors. The Fisher King did an excellent job at the helm while I pulled and directed. Turns out the bottom is clay, mud and sand. Not as bad muddy like Apalachicola Bay but still it trashed the deck as we rushed to get out of the anchorage and into the channel. With a muddy deck we were now free.
We raised the main turning off the motor. Finally we were sailing off the the south once again. Four times faster than motoring just two days before. What had taken 4 hours then took less than an hour and we soon were passing Honeymoon Island. At the end of St joseph Sound is the Dunedin Causeway draw bridge. We radioed ahead and asked that she please time with us as we were under sail. Excellent. We passed through without a hitch. Sailing under the Clearwater Memorial Causeway we lost a little momentum due to the winds swirling around all the concrete structures. Soon we caught the breeze again sailed past our anchorage from last year, Belleview golf course. On we went sailing south.
As we approached the Indian Rocks bridge we started the motor ,just in case. This proved a good choice for we lost all wind in the low bascule bridge.
With the narrows now behind us we were in Boca Ciega Bay. Which brings to question what is the difference between a Bay, a Sound, a Harbor and a Bight? Boca Ciega is just north of John's Pass at Madeira Beach. Here at the Welch, Tom Stuart, Madeira Beach Causeway or what ever they call it this year.
1. The base of the bridge says Madeira Beach Welch Causeway
2. The chart book says Welch Causeway.
3. The Embassy Guide says Welch Causeway Bridge(Tom Stuart Causeway/Maderia Beach Bridge.
4. Google says 150th Avenue Tom Stuart Causeway
5. The road side sign says State HWY 666
The bridge keeper last year had an issue with anything other than Tom Stuart Causeway. Telling me it was no longer Welch! Also refusing to open as he thought I was 100 yards too far away. Then refusing to open the second time since I was facing the other way while waiting for the next 20 minute interval. Then when I finally got through he said I should have a nice day! Needless to say when we need the bridge to open in a few days we will ask the “Welch Madeira Beach Tom Stuart 150th avenue Hwy 66 causeway” to open. Or maybe we will just use “Welch Causeway” again? If I remember I will let you know.
This anchorage is on the north side of the bridge. South of the two local boats, south of the American Legion. Which puts you right off the McDonald's dinghy dock. One hundred yards from Publix. Win-Dixie is just across the bridge and to the north.